Thursday, 5 August 2010

Off-grid renewables workshop and Ashden India Collective launches in Delhi

Our recent event in Delhi combined a workshop 'Scaling up off-grid renewables' and the launch of the Ashden Awards India Collective. Jointly hosted by the Ashden Awards and DFID, the workshop 'Scaling up off-grid renewables' drew together policy makers, financial institutions, NGOs and donor organisations to explore new initiatives to stimulate renewable energy in India. It was also attended by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), who plan to work with the Ashden Indian Collective on policy work in the coming year.

In the morning, the session kicked off with a welcome by Mariana Mazon, our International Programme Manager and Philip Douglas, First Secretary of the British High Commission and DFID. The first session was a presentation by NERA Economic Consulting on a fund, supported by DFID and MNRE, for providing financial incentive to scale up pro-poor renewable development. This was followed by a session that looked at the experiences challenges and success of collective members with Hemant Lamba of Aurore Energy speaking about electricity generation and Svati Bhogle, TIDE, presenting on heat generation. This session ended with a presentation by MNRE on their programmes for incentivising the use of off grid renewable energy by Gauri Singh, Joint Secretary at MNRE. The following discussion picked up on the lessons learned to date from business and policy experience and areas where the Ashden India Collective could add most value. It was a welcomed and fresh opportunity to have a cross section of sectors debate and share experience on pro-poor renewables in India.

In the afternoon, past Ashden award-winners came together to formally launch the Ashden India Collective. They met to look at strategy for the next year. Led by a core group and managed by a coordinator, the collective will focus their work in the coming year on building a solid policy programme for widespread decentralised renewable energy in India. The idea of an Ashden India Collective developed after the conference last February 'Building a Sustainable Energy Future for India' hosted by the Ashden Awards, the Confederation of Indian Industries and the Department for International Development

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